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Archive - February, 2011

In Need of a Little Perspective

As many of you know, one of my all-time favorite books is The Noticer, by Andy Andrews.  In it, Andy shares about experiences with a mysterious man (I’d say angel) named Jones…known for being able to offer fresh perspective on life.  I’ve read the book five times, and each time, I get something new out of it.  I love how God uses the power of story to teach us lessons.

Lately, I’ve been challenged by a few issues and needed some fresh perspective. I spent time with one of my mentors and walked away from that discussion with a whole new outlook on things.  Here are a few of my takeaways from that much-needed conversation:

1. Never, ever underestimate your power in encouraging others-We know the power of community.  The power of prayer. The power of faith.  But we often forget the power of an encouraging word.  Life was spoken into me when I heard “there is no one more capable of fixing this situation than you.”  Having people in our corner isn’t only wonderful–it’s necessary. A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else believed in them.

2. Be willing to learn-When we begin to struggle with a situation, there’s usually something involved where we don’t want to give in, don’t want to let go, or are unwilling to see the other side.  When I saw how I can learn not just one thing, but several things, my whole attitude changed because I’m not losing…I am actually gaining, as long as I’m willing to look for the lessons.

3. We can’t base our self-assurance on the whims others- Ever feel like you go around the Same mountain over and over (and over) again?  I don’t consider myself a people-pleaser, but I do need to have wins, and do fall prey to caring too much what others think (and judging my actions too carefully). Carrying the weight of our own expectations can be exhausting.   It’s so much easier when we remind ourselves that God is our strong tower. Our provider. And that He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11

4. Be thankful, even on the hard days-Isn’t it amazing how being thankful for the good things in our lives helps overshadow the tough patches?  Even on my worst days, I still have a job that I love, a roof over my head, friends and family who keep me grounded, and a Father who adores me.  We are truly blessed.

What thoughts do you run back to when a little perspective is needed?

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The Power of Letting Go

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. -Mark Twain

Life can sometimes be brutal.  I’ve felt the sting of too many kicks this week.  And at some point along the way, I got angry.  Why was everything happening at once?  Why was the work I was putting in seemingly never enough?  Why does there have to be tension?

God, in His wisdom, gives us each a “breaking point”…the inner battle that tells us we must “Let Go and Let God.”  Hot tears stung my cheeks as I hit my own breaking point and realized that the only way I was going to make it through this was to do both.  How merciful is our Lord that even in our weakness, He reminds us He is strong.  In those moments of relinquishing my need for control, God reminded me of these things:

The goal is not to make everyone happy-Far too often, I fall in the pit of trying to get everything done and keeping everyone happy.  Not only is it impossible, but our role in life is a far higher calling than burning daylight striving for the approval of people.  If  we are serving Him well, the rest more easily falls into place.

Letting go doesn’t mean giving in-In our desire to be right, we can lose sight of what’s most important.  This week, letting go of some things, even when I haven’t fully agreed, made more sense than trying to prove a point.  Sometimes “Okay” is the smartest word we can use.

Saying “I’m Sorry” covers a multitude of sins-There are times when it’s hard to apologize.  We feel wronged or slighted, and the last thing we want to do is say “I’m sorry.”  But there’s so much power in those two little words.  They erase tension, breathe fresh air into discussions, and open the door to reconnection.  I found myself apologizing today…it was needed to get things back on track and as soon as I uttered them, I felt better and so did the other person.

I fight the need for control of…well, everything in my life…fairly often.  But God continues to show me the power of letting go.

Question: When life is knocking you down, how do you fight back?

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